This Week’s Health Goal: Exercise For 2 Minutes As Soon As You Wake Up


     When I say exercise, I don’t mean to do some light stretching or slowly lift a one pound weight. We want high intensity exercise for two minutes! For example, you can do jumping jacks, high knees, push-ups, running quickly in place, or all of the above. This well help you wake up and feel more refreshed throughout the day. The more often you do it, the easier it will be to fall asleep at night as well. Keep reading below for the science behind this health goal.

     Many people have difficulty waking up and feeling refreshed. Some people don’t wake up at all unless they have their caffeine boost, and others never really feel awake until almost lunch time. In America, it is very common to have a reversed cortisol curve, and this is one of the main reasons we have so much trouble falling asleep and waking up.

Trouble Waking Up

     Cortisol is what most people refer to as the stress hormone. It is produced by the adrenal glands (which sit on top of the kidneys) when we are physically or emotionally stressed. However, it also plays a very important role in our sleep cycle.

     Our cortisol levels are supposed to be highest in the morning around 8 AM. This peak level gives us energy and helps us wake up feeling refreshed. Cortisol levels take a pretty steep dive by noon, and then slowly continue to drop until late in the evening. Levels then begin to rise again throughout the night, until 8 AM the next day.

Cortisol Curves

     For people with a reversed cortisol curve, or low cortisol, these levels can be all over the place. It is not surprising to find people with peak cortisol levels at 5 PM, 9 PM, and even midnight. No wonder the person is having trouble sleeping! By the time they get to 8 AM, these levels have dropped, and for some people, almost to their lowest point.

     Here’s where the intense exercise comes in. Intense exercise raises cortisol levels. The first week or two you try to do this, it will probably be really tough to get yourself out of bed just to start exercising. However, most people almost immediately notice a difference in their morning energy. By the end of week two, you should notice a difference in waking up as well as being able to fall asleep. The more we can raise our cortisol in the morning, the less cortisol we will have available at night!


yours in health, dr samantha boldt